The city of São Luís, listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site, is the capital city in the State of Maranhão. Situated on an island known as the “Island of Love,” this beautiful place is also home to incredible natural beauty, fascinating historic centers, and delicious local cuisine.
São Luís is a wonderful destination, especially if you are planning to enjoy beautiful beaches on your next trip! A great place to visit in the city is Jansen Lagoon Ecological Park, where you will be able to enjoy the beautiful view of the beaches and watch the crowds on the waterfront. The most popular beaches with tourists are Ponta d’Areia, São Marcos (preferred by younger people and surfers), Calhau Beach, and Olho D’Água Beach, which are located along the 30-km-long coastline in the metropolitan region of São Luís.
The city is located in the state of Maranhão, which has the second longest coastline among all Brazilian states. Stretching for about 640 km, the coast of Maranhão displays incomparable scenery. The large island where São Luís is located is also home to the cities of São José de Ribamar, Raposa, and Alcântara, where you will find some of the most beautiful beaches on the Brazilian coast.
Ponta D’Areia Peninsula
Ponta D’Areia Beach
Located about 4km from downtown São Luís, the beach is renowned for its reggae clubs and beachfront bars. Beachgoers will be able to enjoy warm sea water and plenty of room to practice sports. Moreover, the waterfront promenade leads to the local pier (Espigão), the best place in the city to enjoy the sunset.
São Marcos Beach (Marcela Beach)
When it comes to physical activity, São Marcos stands out from the rest! The beach has an extensive promenade that is great for walking, jogging, and cycling, and the sea is perfect for surfing and kitesurfing. There are also several local bars and plenty of beach umbrellas for your family and friends to enjoy the day.
A quiet beach with small waves and fine sand, Calhau is described by many people as the most beautiful beach in the state capital. Located about 9 km from the downtown area, the local dunes and small hills form stunning landscapes. There are also plenty of hotels, inns, bars, and restaurants in the region.
Olho D’Água Beach
This is an excellent option for nature lovers. Surrounded by protected native forest, the location is very rustic and contains dunes, a wide strip of sand, hills, cliffs, and crystal-clear water. Located about 10 km from the center of the city, the beach has good infrastructure, which includes plenty of kiosks, bars, and restaurants for everyone to enjoy their day.
There are wonderful places off the island as well, such as the municipalities of Tutóia and Barreirinhas. In addition to its beaches, the region is home to Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. Located 250km from the capital and stretching for more than 150,000 hectares, the park is famous for its blue lagoons surrounded by endless white-sand dunes. If you plan to visit Lençóis Maranhenses, though, you must choose your dates carefully. The phenomenon of the lagoons takes place between the months of April and August. This idyllic place is totally unique and it will be an unforgettable adventure.
There are several bus routes that cover the whole city. For more information on the routes, click here.
Walking is a great way to visit the historic city center and its wonderful attractions.
Personal Vehicles or Rentals
A good way to get around the city and to visit nearby destinations is to rent a car.
Taxis and Ridesharing Companies
Taxis and ridesharing companies are a comfortable way to get around the city of São Luís.
+55 98 3214 8682
Tourist Assistance – Praia Grande:
+55 98 3231 4696
Military Police: 190
Fire Department: 193
The best period to visit São Luís is between the months of June and August. The city has hot weather all year round, so light clothes and sunblock are recommended.